Ice Lens: Humans try out the cryophile lifestyle

After several posts about cryophiles, it’s time to explain why life up here needs to adapt:

Soon, this became the temperature to strive for, when temperatures dropped well below -30. Temperature according to my car, Nov. 16, 2011.

Yes, the Fairbanks winter is upon us.

Can humans also become cryophiles? After all the complaints I’ve heard (and made) this week, I’m hard pressed to say that all Fairbanksans seek out the cold. Yet, somehow, we press on — relatively comfortably, at that. Yes, not all of our many inventions are suitable for life up here. Cars break down, pipes freeze, boilers shut down. There’s certainly a stark contrast between what Fairbanksans see in the theater or on Hulu, and the chores of their daily lives. Even I’ve acclimated — adapted within my own lifetime — between maritime Anchorage and boreal Fairbanks.

For this week’s Ice Lens, a glimpse of the haze surrounding Fairbanks this week.

Ice fog enveloped Fairbanks as temperatures dipped past -30F. Three trees by West Ridge parking lot, Nov. 16, 2011.

Ice fog’s explanation comes for another day, but in a nutshell that haze — combined with the sun setting at 3:40p.m. — produces early-onset cabin fever like nothing else. It feels like living in humanity’s little cryophile biodome. Not even the air can get escape.


3 thoughts on “Ice Lens: Humans try out the cryophile lifestyle

  1. Molly says:

    My lungs might not miss the ice fog, but my eyes definitely do. Thanks for sharing the picture, Kelsey!

  2. Starwolf says:

    Cool Picture. It takes me a little bit of time each winter, about a month, to re-adapt to the below 0 lifestyle even though I’ve lived her my whole life. The lack of daylight is definitely what gets to me the most though. You only have like 4-5 hours of light which most spend inside working or at school. Though those cold clear days with the sun skimming the horizon are like 5 hour sunsets and truly are pretty.

  3. modog97 says:

    I always wondered how people would have lived in similar environments in archaic time periods. Siberia/Yukon/etc… It is hard for us to imagine what it was like. Especially when we go outside and our faces freeze after 90 seconds. The only people who can attest to the survival in that type at the Inuits, but there aren’t many of them left.

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